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Howdy gang,

I've got a Gen 1 coupe finished back in '01. Well, the 15 gal. fuel safe cell is leaking so the bladder's done after 20 years - not a bad lifetime.

Now the bad news - I can find no way to drop the cell out the bottom. There's a couple inches of body interference from the back tuck-under that prevents the straps from opening fully, and there's not enough front to back space anyway to allow the cell to come out in one piece.

I've considered a number of options, but it seems the best might be to:

1) Cut the existing cell out from the bottom (sounds like a lot of fun!)
2) Relocate the battery box from it's position next to the cell to behind the seats or in the engine compartment.
3) Use the wider space to install a Mustang tank or something that will actually fit.

Somebody has no doubt run into this issue in the past, but I've not yet been able to find a post where they documented what they did to deal with it.

Appreciate any input!

-Tony in Colorado
 

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Tony,
I have a black gel coat Coupe (Gen 1 I guess or 1 1/2) I had a hell of a time getting the mustang tank in and out so I modified/cut the fiber glass before I finished the body work and painted it. I cut the opening wider and I cut it back further or closer to the rear of the car. I don't have the dimension right now, but I could measure it and get them for you. If you use 2" wide green 3M masking tape and tape the area where you want to cut then use a sharpie marker to draw your new opening on the tape, you should be able to cut through the tape and paint and fiber glass with out ruining the paint. I would use a hole saw in the corners so they aren't sharp. I did this while it was just in gel coat and I used an abrasive cut off wheel on a 4" angle grinder to make the straight cuts.
NOTE: make sure to where a paint respirator! I have a full face shield paint respirator, which kept the dust out of my eyes and lungs. When your done you can carefully sand the opening, but leave the tape on while you do that. You can then use a small paint brush to paint the edge. I would re-tape the body before painting the edge.

If you would like those measurements let me know.
 
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